Many speak in favor of Kean president at board meeting

Monday at the Kean Board of Trustees meeting, many members of the administration as well as former students, undergraduates and even the president of nearby Union County College, came to speak in support of President Dawood Farahi and the advances made during his decade long tenure.

Dr. Margaret McMenamin, president of Union County College, explained that

At a meeting last week, the Board of Trustees at Kean University gave school President Dawood Farahi a 5-year contract extension, and many turned out to speak in his favor.

Kean University “is our number one partner and number one transfer choice by students.”

“Dr. Farahi is a visionary and courageous leader who transformed Kean into a world class university,” the college president said, adding that because of his dedication, “Kean is now a student centered university.”

McMenamin also pointed out that when Union County college students are selecting a university, “they choose Kean because of a courageous and deliberate process.”

“Dr. Farahi turned a vision into a reality,” McMenamin said, adding that Kean has become the envy of New Jersey colleges and universities and “this world class university will benefit New Jersey and the United States.”

Matthew Durado, a former Kean graduate who obtained two degrees at the university said he was “amazed to see the rebirth of Kean over the last ten years.”

Emily Filardo, a professor at Kean and a member of the Faculty Senate, said that the fact Kean is now in compliance with Middle States standards was “a shared governance effort.” However, she did have concerns about information not included by the Kean Board of Trustees and Farahi in the monitoring report sent to Middle States Sept. 1.

“We met with the board of trustees, but the faculty senate vote of no confidence in Dr. Farahi was not included in the monitoring report,” Filardo said. “I believe Middle States made it clear we need to continue to work together.”

Kelly Vence, a former Kean student, expressed her full support for the university president, noting that Farahi” has shown his love and concern” for her and all students while at Kean.

Susan McKuen said she earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees at Kean, returning to work at the university as an adjunct professor in the administration department. She reiterated what other speakers said, stressing the reason students choose Kean is because the university offers a competitive education. McKuen also was strongly supportive of the university president’s vision.

“Dr. Farahi is a dedicated leader and committed mentor. Without his vision and hard work Kean would not be where it is today,” she said.

Joseph Encetari, a Kean University admissions counselor, said he graduated from the university “when things were much different.”

“One of the things Dr. Farahi stressed to me is to see if students are fit to come here,” the admissions counselor explained, adding that he has over 1,500 prospective students waiting to attend the next Kean open house and that is all due to the university president.

“He connects with students and takes the time to see if they are a right fit,” Encetari added.

Undergraduate student Sarah Satler said her first interaction with the university president was while she was attending Ocean County College.

“I wanted to transfer to Kean,” she said, “where there was a caring and attentive president.”

“This unique level of passion is most appreciated,” the student stressed, adding that for Farahi “students are the utmost priority.”